Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Dune Delights at Sanaigmore

Last Sundays rAmble at Sanaigmore 12th June 2016

Germander Speedwell
A dune walk, always a chance for a delight of colour.  Buttercup and Birds-foot Trefoil with the wonderful bright blue of Germander Speedwell puncturing through the yellow.  A number of mermaids purses empty, dried and light as a feather scattered on the grass where they had been blown from the shore.  Thrift in flower and Lady's Bedstraw and Thyme just bursting forth with blooms that will be busy for the next couple of months.  Around the rocky outcrops and on the inland side Heather, wind pruned to a tight cropped carpet was interspersed with Lousewort and the first spikes of Heath Spotted Orchid, the dry weather of late had not suited the tiny Stonecrop with one flower clinging to existence in a tiny pocket of soil in a rock crevice.
Heath Spotted Orchid

Marsh Orchid?
Marsh Cinquefoil
The once wetter areas had Marsh Pennywort, Ragged Robin, Marsh Marigold and Forget-me-not.  The wind was a bit brisk for butterflies but a nice Green-veined White obliged for a photograph. 
Green-veined White
A large hawker dragonfly zoomed past but wasn't for identifying and one of our party saw a Painted Lady.  Painted Lady's are migratory pushing up from the continent, I hear the weather in the south is wet so they have bypassed the soggy places for sunny dry Islay.

The small Common Gull colony had 5-6 chicks perched a top the pebbles, with peeping Oystercatchers.  Good views of Ringed Plovers, Wheatear, we watched the Skylarks sing on the way up and the meadow Pipits sing as they parachuted down.

A first and a highlight of the afternoon was a shrew, bold as you like scurrying across the heather and into the longer grass.

Flowers: Birds-foot Trefoil; Thyme; Lady's bedstraw; Thrift; Tormentil; Germander Speedwell; Marsh Cinquefoil; Ragged Robin; Forget-me-not spp; Marsh Pennywort;
English Stonecrop; Heath Spotted Orchid; other hybrid spotted orchid; Lousewort.

Birds: Oystercatcher; Ringed Plover; Wheatear; Meadow Pipit; Skylark; Pied Wagtail; Common Gull, 5 Common gull chicks; Gannets
Birds heard: Snipe; Corncrake; Dunlin
Insects: Green-veined White; hawker dragonfly; Painted Lady
Mammal: Shrew

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